How to Choose Your Perfect Pen According to Handwriting Styles

Gray pen top of the notebook

There are no two people on the planet that have identical handwriting — even though they might have the same handwriting style.

Taking that into consideration the variety of beautiful pen designs, you may be wondering: “How could I ever choose the perfect pen?”

The best way to do so is by taking a look at the kind of ink the pens use. There are four basic ink styles:

  1. 1. Ballpoint — Uses oil-based ink and innovative engineering, and will never dry out.
  2. 2. Rollerball — Designed for liquid ink flow without having to worry about the maintenance of a fountain pen nib.
  3. 3. Fountain — Harnesses liquid ink using an intricate nib.
  4. 4. Gel — Uses fast-drying gel ink as the perfect melding of a rollerball and ballpoint style.

To find out which ink style would suit you the best, first, we’ll get acquainted with different forms of handwriting.

What Are the Different Styles of Handwriting?

There are three main types of handwriting styles:

  • • Cursive
  • • Print
  • • D’Nealian

But before we take a closer look at them, let’s consider a few examples of the techniques used to differentiate handwriting styles.

Handwriting analysis is sometimes used as a forensics practice to identify a person from written documents or signatures.

There are 12 characteristics used in forensic handwriting analysis that are quite interesting examples to observe in your own handwriting style:

  • • What is the thickness, strength, and flow of your letters?
  • • What is the amount of space you put between letters? Are they connected or spaced?
  • • Are the letters in proportion?
  • • Do you lift the nib or even your hand before writing a new letter, or do you connect them?
  • • Do you separate the capital letter from the lowercase letter, and are your words connected?
  • • Do your words begin or end with a curl, and on an upstroke or a downstroke?
  • • Do you add any extra loops or curls to your capital letter or lowercase letters?
  • • Do you apply pressure with your hand on the upstroke or the downstroke?
  • • Do your letters slant to the left, right, or is there no slant?
  • • Do you write on, below, or above the line?
  • • Are there swirls and loops in your handwriting? 
  • • How do you cross your t’s and dot your j’s and i’s?

With so many characteristics to consider, it’s no wonder there’s a study called “graphology” dedicated to handwriting and analyzing its connection to psychology.

Want to learn more about what your handwriting says about you? Check out this simple Handwriting Personality Test.

Now, let’s see what makes different handwriting styles unique and how to choose a perfect pen accordingly.

Cursive Handwriting Style

Fountain pen on stationery
Image from: unsplash.com on Álvaro Serrano

Cursive handwriting, also known as the running hand, longhand, or script, is one of the more beautiful penmanship forms characterized by joined letters written in a fluid hand motion.

Writing in cursive is visually impressive and functional. It makes writing faster and more efficient by minimizing the lifts and separations of each letter and word. It requires some practice to learn as it’s more of an artistic handwriting style.

We differentiate Casual and Formal Cursive, the main difference being that the former encompasses a combination of joins and lifts while the latter is all conjoined.

If we dig through the history of this beautiful penmanship style a bit, we’ll find three more subclasses of cursive writing:

  • • Looped Cursive Handwriting — Best recognized by loops that some ascenders and descenders have. The loops provide a way to join letters together with more ease. This style is the one we most commonly associate with Cursive in general.
  • • Italic Cursive — Uses non-looped joins and discourages joins from letters such as g, j, q, or y. This style is not to be confused with the “italic typed” where letters slant forward, as Italic Cursive letters slant backward.
  • • Connected Cursive / Ligature — A predecessor of both types mentioned above. It was developed for practical advantages of speed to prevent fragile quills from breaking due to frequent lifting.

Fountain Pens: True Companions to Elegance

Cross Bailey Fountain Pen - Medalist
Cross Bailey Fountain Pen - Medalist

As you might have guessed, cursive handwriting and a fountain pen make the perfect match.

This iconic writing instrument (a modern-day quill) is a must-have for any writing enthusiast and penmanship aficionado — especially if you wish to write or improve your cursive.

Cursive may well be a “dying art”, but using a fountain pen could be the exact thing you need to be that “analog guy (or a gal) in the digital world,” as Hank Moody from the TV show Californication says.

Writing in cursive while using a proper tool is much more enjoyable than the usual simple act — it’s a perfect way to slow down and reconnect with yourself and your thoughts, and sign documents with class.

Get your Fountain Pen today.

Print Handwriting Style

On the opposite side of cursive, there is a simpler and more usual everyday handwriting style.

Known as block letters, ball & stick, print script, or manuscript — print handwriting is taught to children at the earliest age in most English speaking countries.

Sometimes the terms print or block letters are used to describe block capitals — both small and large capital letters that imitate the typeset of capital letters.

Print letters are disconnected and much easier to read, which is why this type of penmanship is perfect for, and is often a requirement of, filling out official forms.

To-Do list handwritten
Image from: flickr.com on Raul Pacheco-Vega

Ballpoint Pens: Trusty Everyday Heroes

Cross Classic Century Medalist Ballpoint Pen
Cross Classic Century Medalist Ballpoint Pen

Ballpoint pens are the epitome of reliability and function to be used for a lifetime. There is a reason for them being so popular, as we use them for everyday writing purposes.

Being reliable and consistent, they are probably the safest bet as a beautiful and thoughtful gift — especially if you’re not sure which pen style the person you wish to gift it to uses.

Get one at Dayspring Pens.

D’Nealian Handwriting Style

alphabets cursive examples D’Nealian style hand writing
Image from: wikimedia

The final style of handwriting is a “best of both worlds” sort of a thing — D’Nealian penmanship.

This handwriting style incorporates both print and cursive handwriting, and has emerged out of practical need. The early 20th century — with its technical revolutions — affected the growth of bureaucratic paperwork. And cursive fell short, trying to keep up.

To add to that, cursive handwriting is proven more difficult for children to learn due to the finger movements necessary that often left their hands cramped.

In answer, a change happened to the cursive style — it was originally Austin Palmer, a handwriting analyst, that thought of eliminating all the loops and unnecessary flourishes.

There have been many instances of this “new and simpler cursive” style, but D’Nealian became the most popular thanks to Donald Thurber who came up with it to help children learn more easily when going from print to cursive.

Rollerball Pens: Skillful and Versatile Flair

Cross Century II Medalist Selectip Rollerball Pen
Cross Century II Medalist Selectip Rollerball Pen

What better way to compliment a combination of cursive and print than with a writing instrument that itself is a medium between ballpoints and fountain pens?

Rollerball pens use water-based ink, but have mechanics that are similar to a ballpoint pen.

Gel Pens: Sign Anything with Panache

Parker Jotter Gel Pen
Parker Jotter Gel Pen Kensington Red

And if you like thicker, bold coloring in your handwriting, then you can’t go wrong with a fine Gel pen.

The ink takes a little longer to dry, but it won’t bleed through the page when you sign important documents. It enables you to keep that smooth writing feel while not worrying about refilling the ink.

Shop Today, So You Can Sign in Style Tomorrow

If you’ve read this far, then you are probably a true writing enthusiast and know what a difference it makes writing with the “write” tool.

Be it daily journaling, jotting down ideas, or practicing your handwriting form, you can’t go wrong with a Rollerball Pen or a Gel Pen — be sure to get yours today.

With daily practice, you can learn any style of handwriting and make it your own.

 

Featured image: Unsplash Image